What scripture is Paul referring to in Ephesians 5:14?

Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

In Ephesians we find that light (religious truth) is described as very powerful as it is able to make dead things living just by shining on them.

But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

(Ephesians 5:13-14, ESV)

However, this is no direct quote of any biblical passage, so I imagine Paul simply puts it in his own words to apply it to the context. But what is ‘it’; what scripture is he paraphrasing here which fully suits the context? Why is it an appropriate verse to quote in this context?

1 Comment

  • Reply February 28, 2017

    Brian Roden

    The impersonal pronoun “it” is supplied by the translators as an interpretive decision. There is no pronoun in the Greek, just the third person singular active present indicative verb λέγει. The subject is implied in the verb ending, and could be he, she, or it, as all of these would take this verb form.
    If the subject were actually “he” this might be a case of Paul quoting a saying of Christ that had been passed on by oral tradition but was not included by any of the Gospel writers in their narratives.

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